Sable in Words 2023 – Contest Winners


In January 2023, the Sable Island Institute launched its fifth writing contest:
Sable in Words 2023 – A Writing Contest for Youth

The contest closed on April 14, and once again, we are delighted by the interest and enthusiasm of everyone who sent in stories and essays.

The winning submissions were chosen on the basis of creativity, research, and writing skills, these three criteria being equally important. It was not an easy choice as some entries had wonderful story ideas but were weak in grammar and structure, and others were very well written but would have benefited from more research. However, the winning stories were strong in all criteria.

The winners in each age group are:

10 – 13 years

Brooke Morrison
for “My Day with Zoe Lucas

for “A Long Wait on Sable

14 – 17 years

for “Sable Magic

Sophie Uhlarik
for “Sable’s Ghost

The four Winners receive a cash prize, a book about Sable Island, and a set of Sable Island note cards. Also, as part of each prize package, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) contributed a WFNS membership, and a free registration in any Creative Writing Day Camp of each winner’s choosing.

We are very grateful to all four of our inspired winning writers – Brooke, Kyla, Margaret, and Sophie – for allowing us to share their work through publication in this website.

Thank you to everyone who submitted their writings to the contest. They were all interesting to read and provided some unique perspectives and insights, and some surprises. We hope everyone will consider entering again next year.

This being the Sable Island Institute’s fifth annual writing contest, we are grateful to all those who have supported us.

Special thanks to Marilyn Smulders, Executive Director, and Andy Verboom, Communications Officer, Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, who offered membership in the Federation to our winners, as well as a place in their creative writing summer camps. Thanks to Myrna Noddin Bona, Provincial Literacy Lead of the Education Innovation, Programs and Services Branch of the Nova Scotia Department of Education, and Catherine Kelly, Communities Librarian of the Nova Scotia Provincial Libraries, for sharing information about the contest with teachers and librarians respectively. Thanks to Susan Kerslake, Mary Jo Anderson and Cassandra Letourneau-Duynstee for their help in so many aspects of the contest.

Zoe Lucas and Janet Barkhouse
for the Sable Island Institute, June 2023

Previous contests and winners

Sable in Words 2022

10 – 13 years
Pippa Anderson’s “Sable’s Island
Evelyn’s The Storm

14 – 17 years
Chloe Slauenwhite’s “Daughter of the Wind and Waves
Dorey’s “Gallop

Sable in Words 2021

10 – 13 years
Anna Louise Tingley’s “Sable Island In Words
Holly Dyer’s “A Sable Island Story

14 – 17 years
Chloe Slauenwhite’s “A Horse’s Journey from Acadia to Sable
Fauna’s “The Dance of the Selkies

Honourable Mention
Sophias “The Lost Wreck of Sable Island

Sable In Words 2020

12 – 14 years:
Harriet Ritchie’s “Ipswich, a Tragedy
Laurie’s “Perling, Horse of Sable

15 – 17 years:
Fumairia’s “The Mysteries She Holds

Sable In Words 2019

12 – 14 years:
Harriet Ritchie’s “Sable Through the Eyes of a Pony
Quleanja Laureijs’s “Sable Island—My Home!

Honourable Mention
Jorja Taylor’s “A Pale Lady, Five Kids and a Missing Finger“.


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